In addition to four-year universities and colleges like Georgia State University in Atlanta and Mercer University in Macon, Georgia has a network of 25 technical colleges called the Technical College System of Georgia, or TCSG. Member schools are located throughout the state, in cities as diverse as Atlanta, Augusta, Albany, Marietta, Rome, and Savannah. From its large state schools to its small private liberal arts colleges and vocational programs, Georgia provides its students with the academic resources they need to build a positive future. Georgia student loans, grants, and scholarships can help you achieve that future at a price you can afford.
State Loans in Georgia
The state of Georgia has two student loan programs to help students in undergraduate and technical programs fill gaps in their aid. These private educational loans, administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, include the Student Access Loan Program (SAL), and the Student Access Loan – Technical (SALT) Program. Eligible students are Georgia state residents enrolled in a participating postsecondary program. Both the SAL and SALT programs have the following terms:
A fixed interest rate of 1% for the life of the loan, as long as the borrower keeps up with payments in a timely manner
A Keep in Touch (KIT) payment of $10, due each month until the borrower graduates and while he or she is in the grace period following graduation
A loan period of up to 10 years
An origination fee of 5% of the value of the loan, not to exceed $50
To apply for these loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Loans are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, and funds are limited. Disbursements are sent directly to the borrower’s school to cover the costs of tuition, fees, and other academic expenses.
Before qualifying for a SAL or SALT loan, students must apply for all other forms of federal and state aid for which they are eligible. The SAL and SALT programs are not intended to provide students with a primary source of funding, but to make up for deficits in their financial aid.
Private (Alternative) Loans
Private loans, also known as alternative loans, are issued through many financial institutions in Georgia. While federal loans and SAL/SALT loans have low, fixed interest rates, private loans may have higher, variable rates that can increase over the duration of the repayment period. Private loans, unlike federal loans, are not backed by the U.S. Department of Education and are not subsidized, or financially supported, by the government.
According to the University of Georgia’s Office of Financial Aid, UGA students have received private loans from institutions such as:
Georgia’s Own Credit Union
UGA does not recommend or prefer any of these financial institutions for its students. There are numerous banks, credit unions, and other organizations that offer alternative loans to Georgia students. Because interest rates, fees, and eligibility requirements vary from one institution to another, it pays to compare offers from several lenders before accepting a loan.
Federal Student Aid for GA Students
Federal student aid is the financial cornerstone for many Georgia college students. The U.S. Department of Education provides loans and grants through several programs: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Perkins Loans, Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants. While federal student loans have to be repaid with interest, grants are considered “gift aid,” meaning that the student does not have to repay them as long as he or she adheres to the terms of the grant.
When you complete the FAFSA, you will be considered for federal loans and grants based on your income, background, history, and future plans. The financial aid package you receive from your Georgia school will include the forms of support for which you are eligible.
Georgia State Scholarships and Grants
The state of Georgia strongly supports students of all ages who want to pursue the dream of higher education. To this end, the Georgia Lottery for Education funds three financial aid programs through its HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Scholarship. Since the program’s inception in 1993, nearly $6.5 billion have been awarded to students in Georgia’s postsecondary schools through these programs:
The Hope Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to in-state, degree-seeking undergraduates who have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement in high school.
The Hope Grant: The Hope Grant is awarded to state residents attending technical, vocational, or diploma programs. High school academic performance is not a consideration in this program.
The Zell Miller Scholarship: To be considered for a Zell Miller Scholarship, Georgia residents must earn a minimum grade point average (typically at least 3.70) in high school and must earn a certain score on college placement tests.
The amount of a HOPE award depends on a number of factors, including your chosen program and your enrollment status. Students must attend an eligible high school to qualify, and they must continue to make satisfactory progress in college. Students may not be in default on a previous student loan, must comply with Selective Service requirements, and may not be convicted of a drug-related crime.
In addition to the HOPE program, there are numerous opportunities to receive “free” financial aid in Georgia. Private institutions, schools, professional groups, religious organizations, and other entities offer scholarships and grants in varying amounts. Listed below are just a few examples:
The Georgia Governor’s Award: This merit-based scholarship is awarded to high school valedictorians who plan to attend a Georgia college or university.
The HERO Scholarship: Members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reserve, or their children or spouses, are eligible for this award.
The Charles McDaniel Teacher Scholarship: Full-time students seeking a teaching degree at a public college or university in Georgia are eligible for this scholarship. Students are nominated by the postsecondary schools that participate in this program.
The REACH Scholarship: This scholarship and mentorship program is needs-based, targeted at low-income students who perform well academically.
The Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant Program (GTEG): This program provides tuition assistance to Georgia residents attending private colleges or universities within the state. Undergraduates enrolled full-time are eligible to apply for this grant, regardless of their financial need.
The Public Safety Memorial Grant: Children of Georgia Public Safety Officers who were killed in the line of duty may use funds from this grant to attend public or private colleges, universities, or technical colleges in Georgia.
Additional Georgia Scholarships
GEORGIA STUDENT FINANCE COMMISSION (GSFC) - administrator of the State-Funded scholarships, grants, and loans.
Georgia’s Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (GLEAP)- This is to provide Georgia residents with the financial assistance they need in order to meet the cost of attendance at any accredited and participating public and private colleges or universities and technical colleges in Georgia. The applicant should be Pell Eligible.
ARMSTRONG ATLANTIC STATE UNIVERSITY (AASU)
AASU Bulletin Board of Scholarships
Abbot and Fenner Scholarship
AASU Staff Scholarship
The Sallie Mae 911 Educational Fund
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Army Emergency Relief
COLLEGE OF COASTAL GEORGIA (CCG)
Find the following CCG need-based scholarships funded by private foundations-
Rich Products Endowment Scholarship, Bertha S. Galin Endowment Scholarship, J. Roy Duggan Endowment Scholarship, Dr. Cristine E. Ejlali Scholarship, Maude Davis Daniel Memorial Scholarship, Camden Sheriff's Memorial Scholarship, Brunswick Rotary Club Scholarship, Brunswick Incentive Grant, Joseph, and Minnie G. Borchardt Endowment Scholarship and Judith A. Bodolay Scholarship.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA
Information about Gainesville State College Foundation Scholarships and other types of financial assistance.
Hispanic Scholarship Funds
American Indian College Fund
GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Scholarship Programs (Complete descriptions are found at the bottom of the list).
Gene H. Cates Memorial Scholarship, David Voigt Carswell Memorial Scholarship, William E. Carroll Scholarship, Carpet Industry Scholarship, Tommy Carlisle Scholarship, Sam Carastro Family Scholarship, Robert Burton Caldwell Scholarship, John A. & Joyce K. Caddell/Caddell Construction Co. Scholarship, John H Burnett Scholarship, Joseph B Browder Scholarship, Kevin F Brennan Scholarship, Samuel P. Bratton Scholarship, Francis H. Brantley Scholarship, Henry and Margaret Bourne Scholarship FundGuy R. Bostain Memorial Scholarship, these are just a few and you still can find a lot more on this webpage.
GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY (GSWU)
GSWU’s General Scholarships where you can find the following need-based financial aid for college students provided by private sources:
Jennie Strange Scholarships; Lula Finch Stephens Scholarship, Marshall Pryor Scholarship, T. Harvey Mathis Scholarship, Alice Kelley Mathis Scholarship, and E. R. Hogg Scholarship
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY-GSU
The following are scholarships available to incoming freshmen students with demonstrated financial needs:
Lanette L. Suttles Scholarship
Marcia Baker Carroll and Almand "Bo" Carroll Scholarship
The Goizueta Foundation Scholars Fund AwardLanette L. Suttles Scholarship
SOUTH GEORGIA COLLEGE- SGC
SGC Foundation’s Packet for Scholarships- Find need-based scholarships provided by the following private sources:
Arthur Farrar Minority Scholarship, Bruce and Margaret Edwards, Jr. Scholarship, and Dr. Edwin Davis Memorial Scholarship. Deadlines for submission of an application are March 31st for fall admission and November 30th for spring admission.
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA (UGA)
UGA’s Combined List of Merit-based and Need-based Scholarships (you need to scroll down the page) and you will find need-based scholarships like the following:
Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship, UGA Alumni Association Scholarship, and Shaw-White Family Scholarship
VALDOSA STATE UNIVERSITY (VSU)
This is VSU's combined list of merit and need-based scholarships--the following donors provide financial aid for college students who have demonstrated financial needs.
Catherine Hensley McDonal Memorial Scholarship- Business-Vocational Education program
Ola M. Brown Minority Scholarship - College of Education
Steele Scholarship- College of Business Administration
Andy Koppy Memorial Scholarship- College of Arts and Science
Harold S. Gulliver Sr. Memorial Scholarship College of Arts and Science
Alpha Kappa Delta Scholarships - College of Arts and Science
Tammy Lee Fotner Scholarship- Dept. of Arts
University-Wide Scholarship (combined merit and need)
Ty Cobb Scholarship
Wine & Spirits Wholesaler of Georgia Scholarship
Georgia Student Loans
As the eighth-most populous state in the U.S., Georgia is growing at a rapid rate. The economy, culture, and educational opportunities in the Peach State rival any of the southeastern states. With nearly 50 private post-secondary institutions and over 70 public colleges and universities, Georgia has a wealth of academic opportunities to offer its students.
The state’s flagship school, the University of Georgia (UGA), is one of the oldest public universities in the country, receiving its charter from the state in Located in Athens, GA, UGA is still one of the most prominent research universities in the Southeast.